Meet NEET, Who failed the test!
Author: Rahul Singh
College: Amity University, Lucknow
Anitha hailing from Tamil Nadu committed suicide, which awakened the debate over the marking pattern, multiple syllabi, and media of instruction of the National Eligibility Test (NEET) to medical and dental colleges. Test syllabus differed from that of the state boards and students opposed the language used per se English & Hindi, used in the paper was exclusionist. She had scored 1176 in class XII out of 1200 and had the cutoff of 196.75 for medicine. Anitha’s death has sparked reactions from several social activists and political parties who were seeking exemption from NEET for the state.
Tamil Nadu entirely had contradicted this entrance test run by a central board across the country. After many oppositions, Tamil among other regional dialect was added but the questions in Tamil and other languages was a bit too difficult; complaint by many students who appeared for the test. Reforms are made to bridge the gap between the inequalities but ironically; it has led to many “fresh inequalities”. This need for the common test came into limelight after recognizing that not all school boards are marked equally. The education system of India has always been chaotic, marked by multiple syllabi, and ultimately our education system has struggled at every level to take a breath. Over 2 decades back, students from states like West Bengal were awarded informally positive marks as the state board was popular for low marking. The quality of the student bearing on the future health of the nation kept medical entrance tests in special ambit.
Anitha, daughter of a daily wage worker became the face of the protest because she did not get access to coaching and extra curricular tuition as she was confined to the purchasing power and location. These imbalances emerged in light of the hole in the middle of school syllabus and the examiner’s expectation.
In any case, the establishment of NEET was to guarantee that every one of the applicants of medicine and dentistry is equal to the demanding course; which is an excellent intention. Candidates pay for their seats all thanks to the proliferation of medical college and these exorbitant cost focuses them to recover their investment, especially to the undeserved. The repeated protest that NEET has faced underscores how difficult it will be to erase inequality of access. This common entrance exam firewalls against corruption and guarantee the merit and this can only be achieved if the state syllabus (in science) and entrance test respect their benchmarks. Hence, the first step towards equitable reform.
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